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Ever thought about a Minivan? Here are the best ones in 2017.

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

The best minivan for 2017 is the Chrysler Pacifica for its sleek looks, smooth ride, hushed cabin, and flexible passenger and cargo configurations. A wealth of available convenience features is another highlight of this fully redesigned minivan, helping put it ahead of such top rivals as the Honda Odyssey, Kia Sedona, and Toyota Sienna.

Pacifica replaces the Chrysler Town & Country and similar Dodge Grand Caravan. It brings a sense of style to an otherwise staid class of vehicles, one suffering shrinking sales as shoppers flock to crossovers and SUVs. To replace the 2008-2016 generation of its minivans, Chrysler resurrects a name it used on a midsize crossover SUV produced from 2003-2007.

Base-price range for the 2017 Pacifica is $29,590-$43,490, including the $995 destination fee. Trim levels ascend from the LX base model through Touring, Touring L, Touring L Plus, and Limited grades. All have front-wheel drive, a 287-horsepower V-6 engine, and a 9-speed automatic transmission. Acceleration is smooth and strong. Fuel-economy ratings are among best in class, at 22 mpg city-highway combined. Due later in the model year is the Pacifica Plug-in Hybrid. It pairs the V-6 with a battery-powered electric motor. Chrysler projects up to 30 miles of gas-free driving and a full recharge in two hours from the industry-standard 240-volt supply.

Like all minivans, Pacifica is more passenger-friendly than any SUV, with spacious seating in all three rows and, with dual sliding side doors, hassle-free ingress and egress. It seats 7 or 8 and retains many of the convenience and safety features that distinguished the previous Town & Country and Grand Caravan. Foremost is Chrysler’s clever Stow ‘n Go seating. The industry-exclusive allows all rear seats to fold into floor wells, negating the need to remove the second-row to achieve maximum cargo volume. The available rear-entertainment system is more than a DVD player: it boasts a variety of built-in activities and games, even an “are-we-there-yet” map app that should keep the little ones occupied on long trips.

It’s also the second minivan – after the Odyssey – to offer a built-in vacuum cleaner. We think Pacifica’s is more convenient to use, though it’s available only on the Limited model, whereas Honda doesn’t limit it to the most expensive Odyssey. A hands-free power liftgate, 360-degree surround-view camera, and hands-free parallel parking are among the newly available convenience features.

While Pacifica is 2017’s best minivan, don’t overlook our runners-up.

With it slick drivetrain, excellent steering feel, and well-balanced handling, Odyssey is the most fun to drive of the lot. You benefit from Honda’s well-earned reputation for reliability and strong resale value, though Odyssey isn’t a quiet as the Pacifica.

The Toyota Sienna also boasts great reliability and is the only minivan available with all-wheel drive (AWD), which delivers an added measure of slippery-surface grip. The affordable SE model adds some attitude with an aggressively styled lower body kit, large alloy wheels, and a sport suspension. And it handles surprisingly well — at a cost of some ride comfort.

Kia’s Sedona is a well-balanced entry that delivers on the brand’s promise of plentiful features at competitive prices. The top-line SXL model can be equipped with Nappa leather upholstery, radar-based adaptive cruise control, and a surround-view camera for a sticker price under $44,000. Kia’s warranty is a selling point: 5 years/60,000 miles bumper-to-bumper, 10 /100,000 powertrain.

About Chuck Giametta

This nationally recognized, award-winning writer brings to Carpreview.com two decades of automotive testing and reporting for newspapers, books, magazines, and the Internet. The former Executive Auto Editor of Consumer Guide, Chuck has covered cars for HowStuffWorks.com, Collectible Automobile magazine, and the Publications International Ltd. automotive book series. This ex-newspaper reporter has also appeared as an automotive expert on network television and radio. He’s a charter member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association, the president of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Media association, and a juror for the annual Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year awards. Chuck writes from Colorado Springs, Colo. If you have a question for Chuck, write to him at chuck.giametta@carpreview.com